no problem with the women running if they are good,not like when the have MIlko Duno bring up the rear, I'm sick of spec racing,1 chassie and the BS IMS and the IRL spout, injust before the split( thank you FTG)CART was making Bernie real nervous. let the Hulman George clan only run IMS and the 500, and that's it. and they wau the gaver out the $$$ to teams ,of course FTG's step son, good ole eddie got his $$$$,
Ed Carpenter and Jay Penske were awarded the last two Leader’s Circle franchises for the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR season while Bobby Rahal, Chip Ganassi, Bryan Herta, Eric Bachelart and Mike Shank were miffed at being rejected from the welfare system.
After hearing presentations from all seven owners who paid $60K apiece to state their case, INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard selected Carpenter and Penske to receive the $1,168,559, which is paid in eight monthly installments beginning in March.
"We're really thankful that we had the opportunity to present our plan to the series," Carpenter told SPEED.com. "It means a lot to have received one of the Leader Circle contracts, and Ed Carpenter Racing is prepared to represent the series and our sponsors to the fullest."
Dragon Racing owner Penske echoed Carpenter's sentiment.
"I'm proud that our team has been chosen for one of the [Leader Circle] contracts, and we're currently working hard to get our cars ready for testing," he said.
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But Bernard’s decisions left some red faces in the INDYCAR paddock.
"I’m extremely disappointed and angry, it’s a travesty,’’ said Herta, who along with Steve Newey co-owned last year’s Indy 500 winning car driven by Dan Wheldon and also served as the development team for the new Dallara.
Derrick Walker, left, and Ed Carpenter, right, have formed an impressive new operation with backing from Fuzzy's Vodka, and can also count on funding from INDYCAR's Leader Circle program. (IndyCar Series)
“We’ve got the only national brand as a primary sponsor and I was always told the Indy 500 was the most important race in the world. But obviously it wasn’t enough to get us into the 20 most important teams.’’
The former CART/IRL winner was asked if not getting a Leader’s Circle would torpedo his season with Alex Tagliani?
“Absolutely not. We’ve got a good sponsor. But could we have used to money for testing and development? Certainly.’’
Ganassi, one of the full-time entrants in 2011 with cars that missed the Leader Circle cut (Charlie Kimball's No. 83), found it strange that a new team and a part-time team got the nod from the series.
"If you run 20th or worse, you're at the mercy of a bunch of people, but I guess the best way to avoid that is to run 20th or better," he said. "Woe-is-us for not running in the top 20, but I did run the whole season last year and our sponsor did a heck of a job of activating..."
Shank, the longtime sports car racer whose team won the Rolex 24 two weeks ago at Daytona, is the only new entrant for 2012 and has the smallest workforce and budget.
“We all felt like we deserved it so it’s frustrating,’’ said Shank, who is trying to finalize a deal to run Paul Tracy with Lotus power. “This is my life, I live and die with cash flow and this would have been a big help since we’re starting from scratch.
this is why i cannot stand IMS and the IRL it's BS